No spoiler warning this week. Today's story features new characters and a genre I never expected to find myself writing in.
My friend Joe said, “You’re so funny,” when Mother revealed her true identity.
He laughed as he left to go home, and I fumed. Mother smirked, and it made me even angrier.
“I told you, Stanley,” she said. “True or not, no one will ever believe I’m Onyx.” She patted my shoulder as she walked past, carrying the almost empty tray of pizza rolls we’d been snacking on while we played Fists of Fury.
“People have this notion supers are like the ones in comic books.” Mother laughed. “The idea we might be boring old suburbanites just doesn’t compute.” She sat the tray in the sink before turning around to give me one of her serious mom looks. “It’s a notion we’ve cultivated for generations now,” she scolded. “You’ve got to stop trying to ‘unmask’ your dad and me!”
“If it’s so impossible for ‘regular folk’ to believe, why do you care anyway?”
“Ideas grow,” she said. “All they need is for a seed to be planted and given time.” Mother sighed and leaned against the counter. “It might not happen for years, but it can and will if you keep this up. Don’t you see? You’re shooting yourself in the foot.”
“You mean shooting you and Dad in the foot,” I grumbled.
Mother’s brow crinkled, and she frowned at me for a moment. “You’re upset your abilities haven’t presented themselves yet, aren’t you?”
I looked away. My face felt like it was on fire. “I’m seventeen,” I said. “It should have happened by now.”
“It will,” Mother said. She walked across the room and squeezed my shoulder with a fraction of a fraction of her immense strength. “Every now and again, it takes a little longer.”
I looked up at her and tried to smile. Judging by the look in her eyes, I didn’t manage a convincing one.
“Not all superpowers are as flashy as super strength or manipulating fire,” she said. “You could be a microkinetic like Grandma Quinn or a precog like Great-great-grandpa Matheson.”
“Yeah. Some super I’d make. I could tell the villain’s futures,” I snarked.
“You could still do good,” Mother said.
She ruffled my hair, and I could tell my attitude was upsetting her because she wasn’t modulating her strength as well as she normally did. My scalp burned a little, and a low ringing started up in my ears. Times like this, when she lost the smallest bit of control over her powers, drove home how much energy Mother had put into not hurting anyone by accident or breaking stuff all day, every day.
“And doing good is the whole point,” I recited my family’s first rule. I sighed. “I just want to be out there with you and Dad.”
“I know, kiddo,” Mother said. She gave me a light hug and a grin. “I know.”
I never thought I'd come anywhere close to writing a superhero story, but here it is. I hope you enjoyed it.
All the stories in the Flash Fiction Friday series are based on first line prompts I get either from a random first line generator or reader suggestions. They are all also 500 words or less in length and fall somewhere along the spectrums of the fantasy and science fiction genres.
Next week will be our first reader suggested story prompt, and I'm looking forward to writing it. If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
You can also find the audio version of this story over on my YouTube channel.
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